United States District Court, D. Rhode Island
DOMINICK T. RATLIFF, Plaintiff,
Ashbel T. WALL, et al., Defendants.
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
WILLIAM E. SMITH[, Chief District Judge.
the Court is a Third Amended Complaint (ECF No. 19) filed by
Plaintiff Dominick T. Ratliff, pro se, an inmate at the Adult
Correctional Institutions, Cranston, Rhode Island, pursuant
to 42 U.S.C. § 1983. He alleges a number of violations of his
civil rights by ACI officials and officers. Ratliff has also
filed an Application to Proceed without Prepayment of Fees
and Affidavit (ECF No. 2) and a request, which the Court
treats as a motion, for Court-appointed counsel (ECF No. 3).
Court is required to screen the Third Amended Complaint
pursuant to 28 U.S.C. §§ 1915(e)(2) and 1915A. Having done
so, the Court finds, on initial review, that the Third
Amended Complaint states a claim on which relief may be
connection with proceedings in forma pauperis, § 1915(e)(2)
instructs the Court to dismiss a case at any time if the
Court determines that the action: "(i) is frivolous or
malicious; (ii) fails to state a claim on which relief may be
granted; or (iii) seeks monetary relief against a defendant
who is immune from such relief." 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2).
Similarly, § 1915A directs courts to screen complaints filed
by prisoners against a governmental entity, officer, or
employee of such entity and dismiss the complaint, or any
portion thereof, for reasons identical to those set forth in
§ 1915(e)(2). 28 U.S.C. § 1915A.
legal standard for dismissing a complaint for failure to
state a claim pursuant to § 1915(e)(2)B and § 1915A is
identical to the standard used for ruling on a Rule 12(b)(6)
motion." Chase v. Chafee, No. CA 11-586 ML,
2011 WL 6826504, at *2 (D.R.I. Dec. 9, 2011) (citing
Pelumi v. Landry, No. 08-107, 2008 WL 2660968, at *2
(D.R.I. June 30, 2008)). The Court must review pleadings of a
pro se plaintiff liberally, accepting his well-pled
allegations as true, and construing them in the light most
favorable to him. Chase, 2011 WL 6826504, at *2
(citing Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 566 U.S. 662, 678 (2009);
Estelle v. Gamble, 429 U.S. 97, 106 (1976)).
However, "the Court need not credit bald assertions,
unverifiable conclusions, or irrational factual
allegations." Id . (citing Iqbal, 556 U.S. at
662). "To state a claim on which relief may be granted,
the complaint must contain sufficient factual matter,
accepted as true, to state a claim to relief that is
plausible on its face.'" Id . (quoting
Iqbal, 566 U.S. at 678).
Third Amended Complaint
filed his original Complaint (ECF No. 1) on October 19, 2015.
Because the Complaint was lacking in several respects, the
Court ordered him to file a First, Second, and, ultimately,
Third Amended Complaint.
alleges that he has been subjected to continuous harassment,
discrimination, threats against him, and bookings for
frivolous infractions, among other claims. (Third Am. Compl.
1, ECF No. 19.) According to Ratliff, this treatment began
when he was housed at the Intake Services Center, continued
after his assignment to Maximum Security, and apparently
persists to the present. (Id.) Ratliff names as Defendants
Ashbel T. Wall, Director of the Rhode Island Department of
Corrections, Assistant Director James Weeden, Warden Matthew
Kettle, Assistant Warden Jeff Aceto, Captain Duffy,
Lieutenant Burt, Correctional Officer Gardner, Correctional
Officer Largy, SIU Detective Corbral, and Correctional
Officer Dove. (Compl. 3, ECF 1.) Ratliff seeks injunctive
relief, compensatory and punitive damages, restoration of
good time credits, dismissal of his remaining segregation
confinement time, an out-of-state transfer, and the return of
personal property. (Third Am. Compl. 7-8, ECF No. 19.)
appears to have cured the majority of the deficiencies in his
earlier complaints. Reviewing Ratliff's pro se Third
Amended Complaint liberally, Estelle, 429 U.S. at
106, accepting his factual allegations as true, Alt.
Energy, Inc. v. St. Paul Fire & Marine Ins. Co., 267
F.3d 30, 33 (1st Cir. 2001), and construing all reasonable
inferences in his favor, id., the Court concludes that, at
this early stage, Ratliff has stated sufficient facts to
state a claim to relief that is plausible on its face.
Accordingly, he may proceed with his Third Amended Complaint.
Third Amended Complaint is the operative complaint. However,
Defendants are directed to refer also to the first three
pages of the original Complaint, as the Third Amended
Complaint continues from that point ("Statement of
Application to Proceed in Forma Pauperis
has submitted the affidavit required by 28 U.S.C. §
1915(a)(1) and a copy of his inmate account statement.
Although the account statement is not certified by an
appropriate official at the Adult Correctional Institutions
("ACI"), as required by § 1915(a)(2), at the
Court's direction Ratliff submitted a sworn statement
detailing his efforts to obtain a ...